A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! -Proverbs 15:23
When I was a kid, I was quite the "wordsmith", I could take a lie and bend it into the most convincing thing. It was a skill that seemed almost natural, and I would defend it to the death. As I got older, my family pegged me as the "drama queen"; the one with the most to say and react to about everything. This later caused me to become very shy and reluctant to be outspoken. However as I experienced more and grew into maturity, I came to understand that my ability to pull people in with my words was not a curse but a gift -if delivered openly, honestly, and at the right time.
Many of us have a lot to say, but we are missing some very key ingredients to getting the point across. Some of what has escaped from our tongues has caused grief and upset instead of joy and positive change. I would like to encourage you with a few tips to taming the tongue and giving a word "in due season". Consider these things below, before you speak on a matter:
Is your answer God-ordained? Has God given you permission to speak on the matter? Society has made it easy for us to rattle off "our truths", without taking a moment to contemplate the repercussions of our ramblings. Shooting out fleshly advice ends up leaving people like a bull in a china shop, broken to pieces. There is a huge difference between an insult and a call to introspect. Be sure the answer is yours to give, and the words you use are given in love and ordained by the Father.
Is your answer true and honest? Giving an answer or opinion should be foundationally true and sound. Be sure you have the facts, and understand the matter in its entirety. Do not rely on hearsay but rather, consult directly with each party involved for clear and concise comprehension. Give an honest answer without partiality, and tell the truth regardless of how hard it may be. Remember, knowing the truth makes all parties involved free.
Have you given your answer enough time? Often times we are faced with situations in the heat of the moment, it's second nature to jump right into our opinion on the matter. However, doing so can cause you to miss key factors and give an answer which lacks depth and resolve...thus resulting in gossip. Be careful to ask the right questions, and give it some time before responding. Ask yourself if the recipient is ready to receive your word and digest it, thus preventing the untimely abortion of the most effective outcome.
Whether you are a prolific writer, dynamic speaker, or average Joe with all the answers, be sure your words are true and "in season" so that they will bring you joy and benefit. Teach your tongue to be patient, so that life can come from what you speak to others. Sprinkling a little love in the mix, will keep you from injuring the recipient and help to glorify God in the process. Don't give in to the worldly temptation of mouthing off, and leaving wounded people behind. Tame your Tongue.
Until next time, remember "Love Leads".